The digital traveller

Last week was London, today Johannesburg, this weekend Pretoria, two weeks time Seattle, the world is my home. Airplanes, subways, busses, and rental cars are my modes of transport. Hotels are my bedrooms and random restaurants are my kitchen, which strangely enough no one will let me do the cooking in. My office is everywhere, my couch at home, a coffee shop in Seattle, Libraries in London, the park in New York and once on the beach while surfing. Well not the surfing one but with where technology is going I wouldn’t be surprised to see people using Google Glass like technology to attend a conference call while waiting for the perfect wave.

When all the travelling began it was exciting and actually very much what was to be expected but the trick to working anywhere was connectivity. Skype, Google Talk, What’sApp, Telegram, QQ, Mxit, Lync, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Email, Yammer, VPN, DirectAccess and in tough times when connectivity is hard to find, plain text messaging all enable me to stay connected. Depending on the country WIFI coverage varies but you can always rely on good old fashioned Mobile networks, its easy to pickup a new SIM card and its definitely cheaper than roaming. Airports have a mobile store where you can get setup before stepping foot onto foreign soil and this should be your first port of call. 

Your gear bag is a trusty sidekick that holds everything you could possibly need while not at home or in the office. It would be difficult to say which are the most important items as I think this would differ from person to person. Currently in my bag:

  • Laptop – Used for work, entertainment, and possibly a traditional weapon
  • Camera – Used to record everything, I take photos like a damn tourist even at home
  • USB Battery Pack x2 – Ensuring I always have power where ever I go
  • Smart phone – this is probably the single most important item with GPS, email, etc
  • Universal adapter – power power everywhere and damn I dislike the South African plug standard
  • Tablet – this is great for watching movies, or just taking notes
  • Note book – used for doodling, writing and killing hours during layovers when the Tablet, Laptop and everything else is dead
  • Water bottle – always good to stay hydrated

The contents of the bags are important but the bag itself is also key, mine is light and comfortable for both carrying and sleeping on. For those moments your find yourself wanting to lay under a tree and work on your laptop it makes a great head rest.

Working from anywhere is an amazing experience, adding another dimension to your day. No more staring at a concrete wall or cubicles, how about looking out into a street in Paris, watching a waves crash while sitting on the patio, or in the Alps while it snows. If I see you out there say hello, even if I have my headphones on and look engrossed in work, part of the benefits is meeting new people.

Thanks to Elance and the Common Room for the Blogathon event.